A young shining star taken away too early

Steven Spydell

Grand Junction, Colorado

To the editor:

It was with shock and sadness that I learned of the passing of Sgt. Mark A Bryant, USMC, just recently. Taken too young, I reflect on one of the greatest men I ever met and worked with.

I had the opportunity to assist Mark years ago in sponsoring his B.S.A. Eagle rank service project. He was one of the first to take advantage of and work with the city of Independence Water Pollution Control Department’s storm drain stenciling program.

He was a giant Scout in Troop 257, quiet and gentle, but commanding. And always admired and looked up to by his troop mates. I watched as he, a young man gathered his fellow Scouts together, organized, trained and deployed them to a neighborhood environmental project with great impact to the quality of life in Independence. He showed me (an adult troop leader), that “leadership” is not governed by age but rather by character.

I knew that as we drifted apart in the location of our lives, here was a man who got it and would forever impart that character in what was to come to be for him. I have no doubt he succeeded in every step of the way.

It is tragic that he is gone, but his parents should be proud, his country should be thankful and I ... am truly privileged to have known and learned from him.



Make some changes at Power and Light



H. Roberts


To the editor:

Independence Power and Light belongs to the people it serves. The Kansas City, Kansas Board of Public Utilities has smart meters, and they’re not happy.

At IPL, the board should be voted on with five business members plus their own law department, separate from the City Council.

We need to stop the waste – solar golf course, high bidder on tearing down the old power plant – and not listen to the advisory board.

You can sell it or get quality business people to save it.



Use what we have, and get development going

Jim Turner


To the editor:

I noticed another landfill operating near Fairmount. There will be a halfway house going in the old Stark School building, too. It appears the landfills are run clean, handling only construction waste. The old school is in need of cleaning and repairs and the owner/operator has pledged to keep it up. Economic development here is different.

We could tie the Fairmount, Maywood and Englewood neighborhoods together with Safe Places to go for the children who live here, many in poverty. We could reuse the Independence Health Department building, formerly a school, as a hostel. This would complete the Safe House trail by offering affordable temporary housing for adults. Wikipedia defines a “hostel” as a budget-oriented, overnight lodging place where travelers rent accommodation by the bed as opposed to the whole room.

The Truman Depot is not far from here, which attracts train riders who might want to stop in and stay. Travelers might enjoy epic stories of the three-trails museum and Chicago & Alton Depot. They might enjoy a covered wagon ride to the Square too.

In European countries, students take a year off between high school and college to travel. They call it a gap year. Backpackers are walking across America. We had a visitor from the Czech Republic riding his bicycle cross-country. This could be the place for them to site-see, spend money and stay overnight in the hostel.

Travelers want a safe and clean place to sleep. Offering Safe Places for children needing refuge and a hostel for adults needing accommodations could be a good way to satisfy needs and tie our neighborhoods together. The profits brought in by the hostel and maybe a new sales tax corridor along the route can help pay for the Safe Places.